How do you get the word out about a new job?


Alicia, Shaunak, Julian, and Stephanie preparing for a day in the lab.

If you read this you probably already know we have an open position at Wash U in evolutionary biology. I hope you forwarded it to worthy candidates and to others that know such people. I suppose the form that forwarding will take is that you will tweet the message, like it on Facebook, or post it on your own page. Then your friends will notice. Some you might even tell in person.


Great snacks at Wash U functions!

I worry about bias. How will the information on this open position reach a diversity of candidates? My blog and my tweets are open to all to see, though my Facebook page is not. If you are a serious evolutionary biologist, I’ll accept your friendship even I don’t know you, however.

There are open sources, many, that we have posted to in accord with our search plan. I expect any evolutionary biologist looking for a position would look at evoldir first. This wonderful site is Brian Golding’s inspiration. What did we do without it? I’ve also posted to ecolog and to SACNAS. We are advertizing in Science.

What I am not doing, for the first time, is emailing tons of colleagues about the position. I always found this challenging, and again worried about even coverage. We want to hire the best applicant, someone we probably don’t even know. We have no one in mind and want you to apply! I hope you heard about this position.


Amanda found the clone she sought.

By the way, we will soon be advertizing for one or two postdoctoral fellow openings in our lab group and hope to get excellent applications there too. We will be calling for applicants in three areas as per new funding.

I’m looking forward to new faces in the lab group and department. St. Louis and Wash U in particular is the place to be!

About Joan E. Strassmann

Evolutionary biologist, studies social behavior in insects & microbes, interested in education, travel, birds, tropics, nature, food; biology professor at Washington University in St. Louis
This entry was posted in behavioral ecology, Jobs, New assistant professor and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to How do you get the word out about a new job?

  1. Jeremy Fox says:

    So I take it you found that emailing colleagues functioned more as a way to encourage applications from people who probably would’ve heard about the position and applied anyway?

    If not, I guess I don’t quite understand why you wouldn’t also email colleagues in order to get the word out, in addition to getting the word out in all the other ways you listed. Doesn’t anything that informs people about the position when they otherwise wouldn’t have heard about it grow and broaden the applicant pool? Even if a given way of informing people reaches only a biased subset of all possible candidates? After all, while your blog and twitter feed are indeed open to anyone, in practice readers of your blog, and your twitter followers, surely are a biased sample of evolutionary biologists. I can totally see why one might worry if all of one’s advertising methods were biased in the same way. But if different advertising methods are biased in different ways, as seems likely to be the case for the wide range of advertising methods you’ve listed, that seems ok to me.

    In practice, I suspect that advertising in Science and on ecolog and evoldir ought to be sufficient, because anyone who’s serious about finding a faculty position in evolutionary biology both can and should check those adverts.

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